I’ve long had an inclination to travel to Botswana. I was a huge fan of the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency books when they first came out and fell in love with their heroine Precious Ramotswe . Precious is so imbued with kindness and serenity that it leaves the reader thinking Botswana must be a kind and peaceful place too. Author Alexander McCall Smith makes the country sound intriguing, inviting and beautiful.
On Sunday night I saw the movie United Kingdom and now I really want to go to Botswana. The movie is an account of how the country managed to establish a strong measure of independence over the ruling British by gaining mineral rights to diamond discoveries in the country. They also decided to end their traditional monarchy and elect their first president. If that sounds like a bit of a mundane historical story line be assured it is not because at the heart of the movie United Kingdom is the love story of Botswana’s first black president Seretse Khama and the British white woman Ruth Williams he marries while studying in London. They face considerable pressure to end their marriage especially from politicians in neighboring South Africa who are just introducing apartheid and have made interracial marriage illegal. But the couple perseveres, winning the respect and support of the people of Botswana. Now their son Ian is the president of Botswana.
Knowing more about the colourful history of the country from the movie United Kingdom makes Botswana an even more alluring destination. This post is putting my personal travel planner (my husband) on notice that Botswana might need to move up the bucket list.
Sometimes You Just Need a Dose of Precious
Five Things I’ll Remember About the Movie Selma
“It was difficult to see the whole business of house cleaning as anything but a use of time that could be more profitably and enjoyably spent doing something more satisfying.”
“Progress in learning a job was made through encouragement not censure.”
I was a huge fan of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith when they debuted. I fell in love with their main character Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s first female detective. Precious solved her clients’ mysteries and problems with uncanny wisdom all the while offering sensible and often witty advice about life.
I bought the first five books in the series as soon as they were published but by book six I lost interest since all the plots started to sound the same and the quirky things about the characters that were so interesting initially got a little tired. The two reflections at the beginning of this post are from the 15th book in the series. It is called The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe.
I had been on a hiatus from Precious Ramotswe for at least five years so when I saw The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe at the library recently I thought I’d give the series another try. Although the writing wasn’t any less formulaic, I was in the right mood for a dose of the positive and realistic view of the world Precious Ramotswe offers readers and enjoyed a quick read reconnecting with Precious who seems by now an old friend.
Precious’ view of housework offered in the quote that opens this post is exactly mine. I also know from my work with student teachers that her ideas about how to get career neophytes to make progress is ‘spot on.’ And here are two more gems I jotted down while reading The Handsome Man’s Deluxe Cafe .
“What she had written was undoubtedly true, but there were situations she felt when it was perhaps best not to tell the whole truth.”
“Women who suffer need to know that they have sisters. It is this that makes the difference between hope and despair. And no matter how difficult your situation there are always sisters- vast legions of them ready to help you.”
A Flood of Books
But He Wasn’t Unbroken
The Magic Geranium